OSHA Respiratory Guidance for NH/AL/Other LTC Employers During PHE

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

This guidance (7-pages) is designed specifically for nursing homes, assisted living, and other long-term care facilities (LTCFs) (e.g., skilled nursing facilities, inpatient hospice, convalescent homes, and group homes with nursing care). LTCFs are different than other healthcare settings because they assist residents and clients with tasks of daily living in addition to providing skilled nursing care.

Even when control strategies are in place, PPE, including respirators, will be needed for workers when close contact with someone who is known or suspected of having COVID-19 cannot be avoided. Whenever respirators are required, employers must implement a written, worksite-specific respiratory protection program (RPP), including medical evaluation, fit testing,2 training, and other elements, as specified in OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134). OSHA requirements for other PPE (e.g., eye protection, protective clothing) can be found in OSHA’s General PPE standard (29 CFR 1910.132) and Eye and Face Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.133).

The guidance addresses:

  • Face Coverings, Facemasks Authorized for Use as Source Control by the FDA, FDA-cleared or Authorized Surgical Masks, and Respirators
  • Respiratory Protection Program (RPP)
  • Temporary Enforcement Discretion Related to the Respiratory Protection Standard During COVID-19
  • Additional Resources